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SFX Entertainment asks Robert F.X. Sillerman for financing proof

Robert F.X. Sillerman, a Southampton entertainment executive, is

Robert F.X. Sillerman, a Southampton entertainment executive, is seen here on July 15, 2004. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Southampton entertainment entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman, who has proposed taking private the electronic dance music company he heads, has received a two-week deadline from the company's board to demonstrate that he has financing for the buyout.

The board disclosed in a news release Thursday that it requested financing commitment letters by 10 a.m. on Aug. 13 for his plan to take SFX Entertainment Inc. private for $5.25 per share.

Sillerman, the former chancellor of Southampton College, and chairman, chief executive and founder of SFX, made his initial offer in February to take the company private for $4.75 per share. Sillerman already owns about 37 percent of SFX.

The company, whose properties include live events like the Tomorrowland European music festival and electronic music website Beatport, said the deal is expected to close in this year's fourth quarter.

Entertainment publication Billboard this month wrote that the stock price of SFX, which is far below the level of Sillerman's offer, indicates that the market harbors doubts that the deal will close. Typically, the stock of companies being acquired trades slightly below the deal price, a spread that narrows further as the deal becomes imminent.

SFX stock closed down 3 cents at $3.10 Thursday.

A company spokesman said Thursday that neither Sillerman nor the company would comment on the deadline.

In May, a company controlled by Sillerman signed an agreement with SFX that increased his initial offer to $5.25 per share. The deal is valued at $774 million, including SFX debt, cash and other items, said a government filing.

A "go-shop" period, which allowed SFX to solicit alternative offers under the merger agreement, expired on July 24.

Though a special SFX committee received no alternative offers, the company said it is reviewing "indications of interest" about parts of the SFX business, suggesting that pieces of the company could be for sale. In addition, SFX last week said it was appointing a chief executive of Beatport and moving away from a centralized strategy to one focused on brands.

"The moves under way at SFX show a broader commitment to powerful business lines and emphasize the importance of brand operations," Sillerman said in a statement.

Sillerman was a major shareholder of CKX Inc., which owned "American Idol" and licensing rights to Elvis Presley and his Graceland estate, before the company was acquired by private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2011.

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